In this edition, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s 45% cut to its CO2 cap, a move that follows similar action in Europe to soak up the glut of permits. In other market news, the Korea Exchange (KRX) will host trading under South Korea’s emissions trading scheme, set to become the world’s second biggest when it launches on Jan. 1, 2015.

Quote of the Day:

“This is likely to be only the beginning. The difficulties for the regulators are the political differences across member states and the differing reserves, which mean that some countries can ‘afford’ to have no policy or to protest, whereas for others like the U.K. there is a real resource as well as financial imperative.”

–Caroline May, head of safety and environment at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright LLP in London, in Bloomberg’s “EU Drafts Fracking Guidelines to Clarify Conflicting Laws”

Lead Stories

RGGI States Make Major Cuts to Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants
Press Release
Having completed revisions to their state CO2 Budget Trading Programs, the nine states participating in the
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) today announced that the 2014 RGGI cap is 91 million tons. This represents a 45 percent reduction to the RGGI CO2 cap. To further build on this progress, the RGGI cap will
decline 2.5 percent each year from 2015 to 2020. By 2020, power plant CO2 pollution in the nine RGGI states
is projected to be half of 2005 levels.
**RKB — First auction under the new cap is March 5.

Northeastern US states tighten carbon trading scheme
Responding to Climate Change blog
Northeastern US states have followed the European Union in taking measures to tighten their carbon market after a glut of permits drove prices so low that power plants and heavy industry had little incentive to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Korea Exchange wins bid to host nation’s carbon trading
The Korea Exchange (KRX) will host trading under South Korea’s emissions trading scheme, set to become the world’s second biggest when it launches on Jan. 1, 2015, the Ministry of Environment said Monday.

U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in 2013 expected to be 2% higher than in 2012
U.S. Energy Information Administration
Once all data are in, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2013 are expected to be roughly 2% above the 2012 level, largely because of a small increase in coal consumption in the electric power sector. Coal has regained some market share from natural gas since a low in April 2012; however the impact on overall emissions trends remains fairly small.
**RKB — Additional coverage of the report and other national emissions statistics below.

US carbon emissions rise 2%
The Guardian
Energy-related carbon dioxide pollution grew by 2% last year after declining several years in a row, a government report said Monday. The increase was largely due to a small boost in coal consumption by the electric power industry, according to the study by the US Energy Information Administration.

Canada’s carbon emissions projected to soar by 2030
The Guardian
Canada’s carbon emissions will soar 38% by 2030 mainly due to expanding tar sands projects, according to the government’s own projections.

Coal Places Australia Second in Carbon Emissions
The Guardian
Australia is pumping out more carbon emissions to achieve its economic growth than almost any other major economy, while a quarter of its mammal species are threatened with extinction, according to a major new environmental audit.

Europe Power Prices Plunge as Most EDF Reactors Online Since ’11
Electricity prices in Europe’s biggest economies fell to a record as Electricite de France SA, the world’s biggest nuclear generator, kept more reactors online than at any time in the past three years.

Hollande Calls for Franco-German Energy Alliance
French President Francois Hollande called for the creation of a Franco-German company to help the two nations as they make major shifts in energy policy.


RGGI Auction 23 Bidder Information Session
January 15, 2014
The webinar is open to the public, but pre-registration is required for participation instructions.

Webinar: Prospects for a New Carbon Market: Cap-and-Trade Under Clean Air Act Section 111(d)
January 29, 2014
Click here for more information and to register.

Climate Leadership Conference
Association of Climate Change Officers
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, CA

The Microgrid, Distributed Energy, and Renewables: How They Work Together
February 25, 2014
New York

Round Table: California Clean Energy Markets and Policy Strategies
February 28, 2014
San Francisco,CA
Click here for more information and to register.

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2014
March 26-28, 2014
San Francisco, California

GLOBE 2014
13th Biennial Conference and Trade Fair on Business and Sustainability
March 26-28, 2014
Vancouver, British Columbia


Alberta could save money, cut greenhouse gas emissions with incentives: report
Canadian Press
A report says Alberta could save money and cut greenhouse gas emissions if it offered people and businesses financial incentives to become more energy efficient.

Japan signs carbon offset deal with Palau
Japan has signed an agreement with Palau to allow Japanese companies to earn carbon credits by helping the small Pacific island cut greenhouse gas emissions, the Japanese government said on Monday.

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

U.S. boosts natural gas output and use since 2005, while OECD Europe scales back
U.S. Energy Information Administration
From 1995 to 2005, both OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Europe and the United States experienced relatively flat natural gas production. Natural gas consumption rose steadily in Europe over that period, but it was flat in the United States as rising use of natural gas for power generation was offset by declining use of gas in industry. Since 2005, significant production growth has outpaced rising consumption in the United States, reducing net imports of natural gas by 58% between 2005 and 2012. Production and consumption in OECD Europe have both fallen moderately since 2005, reducing Europe’s net imports by only 6% between 2005 and 2012.

EU Drafts Fracking Guidelines to Clarify Conflicting Laws
The European Union plans guidelines for shale drilling under proposals that may facilitate oil and gas extraction using the contested technique that’s brought the U.S. toward energy independence.

U.K. Lobbied in Brussels to Prevent EU Regulation on Shale Gas
The U.K. lobbied European Union policy makers to stop plans for legislation on shale gas exploration, according to a government document.

Senate hearing set to press for quicker commodity bank curbs
Members of the powerful U.S. Senate banking committee are set to grill financial regulators Wednesday on their plans to address the risks of Wall Street banks’ involvement in physical commodities markets, fuelling pressure for a landmark crackdown.

China’s 2014 oil demand, imports to grow faster-CNPC research
China’s implied oil demand will grow quicker this year at around 4 percent as new refineries start up, the country’s top oil firm forecast, after slowing economic growth likely led to its weakest rise in five years in 2013.


China to Boost Renewable Energy to Curb Air Pollution, CCTV Says
China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, will quicken the development of solar and wind energy this year to help curb air pollution, state television said.

Hanwha SolarOne Plans Venture to Develop Solar Farms in China
Hanwha SolarOne (HSOL) Co., the photovoltaic manufacturing unit of South Korea’s Hanwha Group, plans to set up a venture with Shanghai HuiTianRan Investment Holding Group to develop solar projects in China.

Japan fuel oil-fired power to halve if nuclear energy comes back strong
Japan’s use of fuel oil to generate power is set to fall over the next fiscal year to levels not seen since before the Fukushima disaster, if enough of the country’s nuclear reactors are allowed back online.


The Threat Beyond The Factory Walls: What Businesses Are Missing About Water Risk
Ecosystem Marketplace
The Elk River in the US state of West Virginia made headlines around the world when a small and preventable chemical spill there left more than a quarter-million people without clean water for over a week. Most water risk, however, is much less dramatic. Colombian beer-maker Bavaria Brewery, for example, realized the extent of the risk it faced when its water bills began increasing a few years back.


California Carbon Market Watch: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Golden State’s Cap-and-Trade Program,Year One (January 8, 2014)

Assessing Corporate Emissions Performance Through the Lens of Climate Science (December 2013)
Climate Counts and Center for Sustainable Organizations

Use of internal carbon price by companies as incentive and strategic planning tool (Posted December 11, 2013)

OECD: Effective carbon prices (November 4, 2013)

Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 (Posted September 12, 2013)

The Future of China’s Power Sector (posted August 27, 2013)
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Posted July 14, 2013)
U.S. Dept. of Energy

Turn down the heat: climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience (Posted June 19, 2013)
World Bank

View all reports >

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